After a few years of drifting around in and out of school, Peter earned an airplane certificate at age 21, but not seeing how this could earn him a living, he decided to become a freelance photographer, selling photos of people’s homes.
“This worked well in the summer,” he says, “but in wintertime nobody wanted pictures taken of their houses, so I had to figure out what else I could do. A friend was in the cleaning business, so we decided to start our own cleaning company—although I didn’t know anything about cleaning.”
|Relaxing in Hawaii at leadership conference.|
|With friends Art & Ann Jonak and Ørjan & Hilde Sæle.|
|Dream Board event for leaders on the team.|
|Having fun at weekend promotion.|
|Enjoying Monaco with the team.|
|Family time in Denmark.|
|Dream building on a yacht in St. Tropez.|
|Flying with the family.|
|With former Danish professional cyclist Bo Hamburger.|
|Enjoying a family-style incentive trip.|
|Making new friends in Florida.|
|At jet-set restaurant in St. Tropez.|
Peter and his friend worked together for a couple of years, but Peter eventually lost interest and sold his equity in order to start his own business, importing shoes from the Netherlands into Scandinavia. After a few years, he quit that business and started doing advertising and Internet projects for different companies, while at the same time dabbling in the securities business.
In 2000, Peter became a father, and working sixty- to seventy-hour weeks away from his newborn daughter became very stressful.
“Something happened to my hormones,” he says. “I didn’t want to leave before my daughter woke up and come home after she’s fallen asleep. I had been self-employed off and on, so I started looking for something I could do from home.”
Since Peter’s previous entrepreneurial ventures hadn’t been all that sustainable, he decided this time he would piggyback on someone else’s idea that was already working.
One day, while surfing the Web, he clicked on a banner that said, Work from Home!
“In 2000, banners on the Internet were still kind of a novelty,” says Peter. “A lady called me from the U.S. to present her business opportunity. After a long conversation, I agreed to give it a try. I was still suspicious and reluctant to pay any money up front, so my sponsor purchased my starter kit and I promised that, once I received the product, I would pay her back.”
Peter didn’t know anything about network marketing, so he just did what he was told to do: he started calling leads in Australia and New Zealand, trying to find business partners.
“My sponsor was very nice, but she didn’t know anything about network marketing, either,” says Peter. “I started developing my own systems, and became so good at it that I came up with a new one every month.”
Peter was working the business full-time, which is what his upline had recommended, but also because his network marketing company required distributors to buy several thousand dollars worth of product each month in order to qualify for bonuses, and keeping up with moving this product was a full-time occupation.
Peter’s first two years in the business were difficult and he was frequently overcome by doubt, but in year three, something shifted. As a result of attending events and seeing many people earning substantial incomes, he became 100 percent certain that he could succeed, too. He made a decision that he would stick with the business, no matter how long it might take him to figure it out.
Learning from Experts
Four years into the business, Peter had become one of the top ten recruiters in Europe and one out of three leaders in Denmark to qualify for his company’s twenty-fifth-anniversary cruise.
“I had a great time hanging out with other leaders,” he says. “The problem was, when I came back, I was by myself again. I hadn’t been able to duplicate my success with anyone on my team, which suffered from high attrition.”
Peter found out there was only one group in Denmark with a track record of success in his company, and their strategy was to spend millions of dollars a year on advertising. He started doing massive online advertising himself, using a system that provided him with a continuous stream of qualified customer and partner leads.
“I was like a robot on the phone all day long,” he recalls, “and most of the money I earned, I immediately spent again on advertising.”
Realizing his business was not sustainable and dissatisfied with his lifestyle, Peter decided to do some research into other ways of doing the business that were more conducive to duplication. As part of his quest, he paid $10,000 to join a coaching program with Randy Gage. He also traveled around Denmark and met top leaders of different network marketing companies, interviewing them and asking them questions.
“Most of them were earning no more than $200,000 a year,” says Peter, “but they were already semi-retired because they felt satisfied with what they had accomplished. At one point I told Randy, ‘Do you know anyone in Denmark who has my kind of dreams?’
“Randy said, ‘If you are serious about network marketing in Scandinavia, you should speak with Ørjan Sæle.’”
Peter contacted Ørjan right away and took the first airplane to Norway to visit with him and his wife Hilde. They spent half a day talking, and Peter realized he had finally found a match for his own aspirations in the profession.
“Ørjan and Hilde spoke about the business at a level I’d never heard before,” he says. “I had no interest in their company’s product, which is espresso coffee (I happened to be a tea drinker), but I quickly became 100 percent certain that they were the professionals I needed to learn from.”
This was in 2005, and Peter thought he was in for a temporary learning experience. However, three months after meeting Ørjan, he realized he no longer wanted to continue working with his first company.
Hilde and Ørjan’s business was doing well in Scandinavia, but somehow hadn’t taken off in Denmark. When Peter told Ørjan he was interested in joining Ørjan’s company, Ørjan challenged Peter to take on the Danish market, which no one before had managed to build. Ørjan believed that if Peter could build that market, that would be proof that his business could work in any country.
Peter signed up under a local leader in Denmark. Having learned from Randy to “use the sponsor line,” he reached out to the Danish leadership, but without much success. After a couple of months, he became frustrated with the lack of response, so he decided to get help from Ørjan directly.
Ørjan’s approach to building the business was totally different from anything Peter had seen in his previous company, which predominately used an approach based on advertising and cold market leads, while Ørjan and his team had built groups of 400,000 customers without a single advertisement.
“A funny thing happened,” says Peter. “When I started working with Ørjan, I gave in to my old habit and bought an ad for hundreds of dollars, which yielded exactly one sign-up. Being a good student, I told my new recruit that the first thing he needed to do was make a candidate list. He firmly resisted making his list, convinced that he should advertise, since he’d come in through an ad.”
At that moment, Peter realized that he had no choice but learn to work with his warm market. He hasn’t spent another dime on advertising since.
“Working with Ørjan proved to be the best thing that could have happened to me,” says Peter. “When he came to Denmark to help me get started, we booked twenty meetings the first couple of days. I used my warm market to fill the meetings, and we made one presentation after another without taking any breaks.
“Having Ørjan with me gave me credibility in the eyes of those who knew me from the days when I was desperately trying to make something happen. They now saw me as a connector to a business opportunity brought to them by a seasoned professional who was obviously very successful. Instead of being reminded of my incompetence, they were focused on learning about the business.”
In the News
To this day, Peter continues to promote his sponsor, both to new prospects and to his downline, with the intention of getting himself out of the picture.
“I want to build a team of independent distributors, people who don’t depend on me being the hero,” he says. “I came to that awareness in my first network marketing company. I was in a coaching group with a top leader who was earning about $70,000 a month. The scary part was that when she took a month off to go trekking with her sister, her income dropped by half.
“I want to build it so I can go away for three weeks and still see my business grow. When we went to Hawaii last March, I didn’t talk to my group for eleven days, yet I received my biggest bonus check ever. It was amazing to experience these results while vacationing on the opposite side of the globe.”
In order to create duplication, Peter is also a strong promoter of systems.
“We have an excellent training system of DVD’s and CD’s. We also use tools for prospecting: instead of me trying to convince somebody to join my business, I lend them a book. We use The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson or other tools that teach the principles of network marketing, because most people in Denmark don’t know anything about the business except for the pyramid stories they read about in the newspapers.”
Peter’s company attracted a lot of media attention when a famous Danish cycling champion by the name of Bo Hamburger joined its distributor force. In 2009, a tabloid looking for a sensational story alleged that Bo had involved himself in an illegal pyramid scheme. The company made the headlines of the national news several days in row when the newspaper was caught filming Bo with hidden cameras during a business meeting.
“I actually was present at the scene of the crime,” says Peter. “A ‘prospect’ had asked to meet with Bo and since I was working with him that day, I decided to join them. The prospect had invited us to his sister’s apartment because she supposedly knew a lot about business. The moment she opened the door, I felt something was wrong. She seemed agitated and I became nervous, too.
“We made her some coffee and Bo started his presentation. As I let my eyes wander around the room, I suddenly saw something that looked like a camera. I asked, ‘What’s this?’ and recognized it was the same camera I had recently bought. I said, ‘We didn’t give you permission to film,’ and, being familiar with the device, I instantly deleted the recording.
“We checked the room for other cameras and dismantled another one. I didn’t know the delete function so instead we confiscated it, promising that we would return it the same day to the owner. But the owner wouldn’t accept it, and the newspaper wrote that Bo Hamburger had stolen a camera from a journalist.”
Although this series of articles hurt Bo’s and the company’s reputation, to some extent, and further confused those who didn’t know the difference between legal network marketing and illegal pyramid schemes, it also provided a lot of publicity.
“I believe it ultimately helped us and continues to help us,” says Peter, “because every year we sign up people who find the articles online and are intrigued. They wonder, ‘Is this real? Is this legal?’ so we have to deal with this issue up front. They then decide for themselves whether network marketing is okay or not, instead of having some friend burst their bubble a week after they join.
“Having to deal with the press has strengthened our company and our leadership, and in the long term was a very good thing.”
Peter’s daily habits include making a list every night of the six steps he has to take the next day to get him closer to his goals. He dreams about them at night and the next morning he looks at the list to see which step, if he could take only one, would be the most important.
“First, I swallow the frog,” Peter laughs. “If you start every day by eating a frog, the rest of the day is a piece of cake. If you have two frogs, you start with eating the ugliest one. For most people, this means calling people and setting up meetings. Once you accomplish this step, everything else is easy.”
According to Peter, business success is based on personal balance. He will never call someone when he is feeling stressed or in a bad mood. For the past four years, he has been using Holosync®, a brainwave entrainment system system developed by Bill Harris and the Centerpointe Research Institute.
“For one hour every day, I listen to an audio program that includes my affirmations and sends different sound frequencies into each ear, synchronizing both sides of the brain. It’s a complex system with a lot of science behind it, and for me it’s been working very well.”
Peter’s core activity is connecting with people in his warm market, which he continually grows through the use of social media.
“I use Facebook to promote my lifestyle, to build relationships and to connect with old friends,” he explains. “I would never use it to promote my business or invite people to an event. Facebook is just another way to collect names. I warm up my relationships by talking about leadership, which is my favorite topic.”
In order to provide leadership for his team, Peter firmly believes in spending face time and frequently travels to other cities just to hang out with his leaders.
“Building friendships is something I’ve had to learn,” he says. “I used to see the same five friends every weekend, and we had to get very drunk to be able to listen to the same stories and laugh at the same jokes we repeated to each other. Today, I can drive all around Scandinavia and I stay with friends everywhere I go.”
Making new friends and opening the house to visitors is something Peter’s wife Pernille had to learn as well.
“In the past, she always wanted everything to be perfect,” says Peter. “I couldn’t just bring someone over on the spur of the moment. Today she applauds whatever I do that helps our business, even if it means skipping a family meal to attend a call. She will always support me, because she has big dreams just like I do, and they are getting bigger all the time.”
Peter and Pernille enjoy luxuries like sharing a yacht, a castle or a private airplane with other leaders in their company. But they also want to make a contribution that brings lasting change.
“My boldest dream is to free thousands of people from a life of limitation,” he says. “I get deep fulfillment from giving, although I’m still working on finding my personal cause. In the meantime, I find opportunities every day to be of service.
“I have a friend I went to boarding school with and to whom I hadn’t spoken for years. He joined my business last year but then decided it wasn’t for him. Around New Year, he left a message on my answering machine that the best thing that happened to him last year was meeting me. He had implemented some of the success principles we teach and he was starting to see the results. He had left his job and was earning three times as much as he used to earn as an employee. Although he never did anything with our business, we still made a huge impact on his life. I just love to be able to inspire people to be the best they can be, no matter how that manifests.”